Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mobile Skype

I found out that N810 is able to offer mobile skype for me. My BT handsfree is paired to N810, which is coonected to internet by BT enabled 3G phone. This combination offered me total mobile skype, while driving around Helsinki. Voice quality was ok, even 3G handover was couple of times problematic. But staying still, phone locked to 3G network - everything worked.

I think this might be one of the reasons why Maemo does not hit phones real soon, too much superior functionality which breaks barriers of current carriers.

N800 is here

Yes, my present arrived early this year.. I've been now playing with N800 a lot and I must say it's a wonderful device. Blogging, forums and skype, along with IM is finaly mobile.

Nokia has finally a vision in here, let there be more Maemo devices soon!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Switch from Sonera to Elisa

Yes, yesterday I proceed to switch my personal GSM subscribe from Sonera to Elisa. Main reason for me was fixed price data packet.

I almost got hold of whole family packet, since our GSM usage is rising and I need to find more suitable solution for us. But I backed of in Elisa store, since they almost got me in 2 year contract and that's what I don't like. Things for Elisa (and also to others who sell these 2 year contracts + phone):

1. I don't like prices like 33,90 €. Make it 34 if you need.
2. If I ask, how to terminate 2 year contract after year or so, please answer correctly. Now answer was like "you don't kind of terminate it..." or "you are obligated to this 2 years'..
3. If you try to explain me, how it's more profitable for me to get this phone free along with contract - don't expect user to be silly, Elisa is not giving free phones away - there is catch for this always.

So, for now we go without 2 year contract.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Plans for N810

I've been planning a lot to acquire Nokia N810. As my employee N800 has convinced me that this is the way to go (rather than E90) - I am seriously thinking getting this one for personal use.

I do really like N800 concept, with keyboard it could do even more. GPS is of course nice, along with decent memory capacity for MP3 storage. So we'll see.

I've been reading a few questions from Internet tablet talks forum that there are people with issues around N810 GPS. My personal opinion is the fact that Nokia should have told users with much more detail information what is principle for GPS and what are things what not to do with it, unless peoples are unaware limitations of GPS technology and get frustrated.

Since I've been playing with GPS technology from 1991, I try to share near future few points with you.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Stable 3G

While I am spending holiday season preparations in car with my E90, I wonder how 2G - 3G switching is so anoying. If I have dual mode selected, E90 shows full signal strengh for 3G, but as soon as I start web browser, phone selects 2G connection.

Why it is doing this?

And as I tested, making E90 to use only 3G in settings - everything works nicely and 3G is stable and fast. Any facts behind this?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Navicore and Nokia Maps

As I yesterday evening got urgent call to reach unknown address, I came aware that there are multiple solutions for navigation which I have bought and therefore they should be usable for this situation:

1. Company Tom Tom was in office, out of reach
2. Nokia MAPS works on my E90, but I am unable to buy navigation license due sim restriction which our company has.
3. Navicore Europe just says "Cannot activate license in 14 days" when I swiched my E61i to E90 (once again).

So plenty of solutions, but all of them totally unusable in this case. But, once again - Google surprises me positively. I have downloaded new google maps for my E90 and it includes great navigation feature as well. It's kind of manual, you have to step those navigation points, but it works great with on board GPS of E90.

Once again, I have to give my vote to google for this great service. I wish Nokia and others could learn something from this. Google has special way to deliver first great user experience, while nokias focus is in billing experience.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Our business

I know. It should not be easy and it will never be. But my private plans are moving forward a lot. This includes company we established in September 2007. We have build up lot of experience and things to do for the future.

I try to blog issues around this small business, as things proceed.

Mobile data is growing

I knew it. Sonera is in trouble with their ancient way to build up 3G/GPRS data packets. Finnish communication authority (Ficora) published their study (in Finnish) and mobile data grew a lot.

So, our family is moving towards elisa and fixed data prices. I've already done that with two business subscriptions from Elisa. 3G packet with 384 kbit/s speed limit is 9,95€/month. I think it's reasonable and for our business use more than enough.

I wish Nokia could keep up with the pace, since E90 struggle is something very special from their side and as demand for mobile IP is gaining, manufacturers should be able to keep up with the pace.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Switching from Sonera to Elisa

I've been preparing my personal operator subscription switch from Sonera to Elisa, including whole family.

There is good reason for that and it's fixed data plan which Elisa has and Sonera has not.

It makes lot of sense to have fixed priced 3G/GPRS access and 9,9€/month is not much for that. Compare that to Sonera's 1€ / "for every starting hour" which is insane, I think kind of Swedish approach.

Nokia N810

I've been waiting this thing to be available. Since I have very good experiences from previous model (N800), I am almost ready to invest my personal money for this N810.

Yesterday morning I was reading leaflet which came in side of daily newspaper and it was nice to notice that N810 was announced in there for 449 € (and of course E90 was gone).

So, are we seeing some strategy shift in Nokia from S60 to Maemo in future, because of android and because of 'success' of S60...?

E90, still not right

I should have known this, my E90 which just got back from service is having still problems.

I just noticed that small screen brightness is all time full and setting for brightness is not affecting at all. Great. Oh why Nokia why, can you please explain to me what is difference between E90 and other great phones you are producing (like E61i) ?

Now I have my E90 with full brightness, it's not the show stopper but annoying feature.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

E90 is back

Yesterday I got call, my E90 has returned from service. Front keyboard problem has resulted "system unit change" into service report and yes, top of E90 was changed and inner display had nice protective cover also.

So, once again - I synced my contacts and calendar from E61i back to E90 and I was right on track. I have lost everything else along a way, but this contact and calendar sync works between phones. Email and other settings I always enter manually.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

E90 still in service, E61i got upgraded

While E90 is still (and again) in service, I was greeted with new firmware availability for E61i (2.0633.65.01). Update went smoothly and now I am enjoying this solid workhorse with notably faster firmware.

It's been *very* interesting to watch Nokia with this E90 saga. They are not publishing any advertisements for E90 (here in Finland) and whole product seem to be faded away.

It's a shame, since last upgrade for E90 firmware was really making difference for GPS functionality and I felt really comfortable with it. But apparently there are some issues with this new firmware , since after that upgrade E90's external keyboard got this strange pressings syndrome (eg. from pressing 5, display showed *74). From my point of view, it must be software glitch.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Soul saved

Visited my colleague today and noticed his battle with ancient windows XP and spyware. His computer was long gone with XP.

What we did, we saved GPG keys from disk and installed ubuntu 7.10. It was fast and furious again, restored keys and installed flashplayer. He was happy within 30 minutes, new ubuntu user with some desktop candy and fully working GPG environment for encrypted email.

So, I have personally saved one soul today, decreased somebody's botnet computer by one and made microsoft to look very funny again.

HP Customer support and Vista

Referring to previous posts, you probably remember that I've been starting to do some business together with couple of colleagues. We have put up a firm, targeted to develop something very interesting.

For that oblivious reason, I became a company customer to HP when I acquired a laptop from them. I also issued question to HP, am I able to use that Vista license under Linux hosted vmware, as a guest operating system. Answer was simple (from HP customer care); "of course you can". But I knew there was a catch in there.

When I indicated that I certainly would like to do that, because I own Vista license (even my primary working environment is based on all Linux approach - it would be nice to have that spyware magnet around). So, next question killed the fun from customer care. Since I knew that I cannot use those recovery DVD's to restore Vista to vmware, I asked how should I proceed?

HP customer care answered me; you can use it legally, but "you just have to get that (installable) media somewhere.." I asked from them that it's little strange that when I own rights to have something, I am allowed to use it in that way - I still have no meaningful ways to do it.

So, now I am after some copy of Vista installation media...

Windows - painful experience

It arrived yesterday. My coding laptop HP 6710b. It was a bit bigger what I thought, but after all it's very basic 15.1" laptop for business. Display is nice 1680*1050 resolution and over all appearance is solid.

But as usual, Microsoft part of it was pain. I booted it and Vista started it's preparations and after that HP own software started it's installation. Over two hours of that, I decided to do recovery DVD's and an another hour went by. I got my computer at 10 am and after 2 pm I was ready to wipe that Vista.

I had over 10 minute experiences of Vista in there and when ever I chose a program from menu - it kept asking 'are you sure that you trust to this and this can be run?'. I cannot see any future for such a system.

But Ubuntu was breeze, with in 15 minutes it was installed and everything worked right out of the box.

I have a nice story about HP customer support and Vista installation under vmware, but I'll make an another post of it later.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Coding laptop for personal use

Today I ordered HP 6710b laptop (GB892ET) for my own firm. Primary purpose for such a computer would be of course coding and developing. I issued couple of points to HP as a question - I know I will not get any decent answers to those, but here they go:

I buy that laptop with Windows VISTA (business) version. I have therefore license for this operating system. I will reformat computer and install Linux as primary operating system. As a owner of Vista, am I able to do following:

1. I install VMWare server for Linux host operating system. Can I restore Vista to one of the virtual machines ?

I think this Windows conspiracy sucks, it prevents our business to expand at it's full and limits too much of an innovations. I am happy that there are Linux for professional use - I really hope that computer manufacturers starts to support it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Wired business with E90

I've been happy with this 'new' E90 which replaced my first E90. Previous one has this microphone and markings on inner screen syndrome. This new suffers no such failures or at least I have not been able to detect them yet.

But when running business with E90, you try to keep charger ready where ever you are. This picture is in Brussels, where E90 needed some juice before 5 pm, after I had unplugged it from my hotel charger at morning.

So, prepare to bring charger with you on those daily trips where you just imagined to survive without that laptop and charger :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ubuntu 7.10 experiences

Days with Ubuntu 7.10 are turning into very productive ones. I've spent hours with system, mainly working with my current projects and I must say that Ubuntu differs from various other systems (including kubuntu) by being most of the time away from productive work flow. I read that somewhere in web, where it was mentioned when ubuntu and vista was compared.

Here is eye candy screenshot of my current screen

And another one which shows you compiz-fusion expose plugin result:

Europe visit Estonia

After spending week in Spain and Brussels, two days in Estonia is totally different. Wifi access is free, it's everywhere and it's working without logging in. Just turn your devices on and you're online.

This is unbelievable, after you have spent your valuable time in heart of Europe, trying to catch that access just to check your emails or some web page. So, Europe. Visit Tallinn to check out how it suppose to work. It's not hard and it's not impossible.

This trip with my CF-Y5 equipped with Ubuntu 7.10 in Tallinn has been fun and good example what todays technology is able to provide, if you choose your assets correctly.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ubuntu on Panasonic CF-Y5

Ubuntu 7.10 with Panasonic CF-Y5 toughbook. It's very attractive combination with 80 GB HD, integrated 3G (HSDPA), bluetooth and 1400*1050 display.

Ubuntu 7.10 was easy to install and it delivers excellent user experience and even panasonic is not doing a thing for Linux, ubuntu does a good job.

This is my primary now.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

ubuntu 7.10 and N810

After spending week in Spain, I noticed that new version of ubuntu has been released as well as new Nokia N810 internet tablet. I really like current linux presence in our world.

I managed to download ubuntu 7.10 image in my hotel and installed it just before trip back to Finland. After using years of kubuntu, I was really interested how ubuntu would work for me. It was actually little bit cleaner, faster and sleek than kubuntu. Most notably I liked the peaceful theme which it has for default.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Maemo recruiting

It's nice to notice that Maemo is recruiting, I think this is nice.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

E90 & N800

Yes, I am finally happy with E90 hardware. It's ok in this new unit which Nokia provided to me from Salo. Still, I am strongly looking forward to have N800 Maemo platform to E90 form.
Maemo beats S60 in every sector.

So, I am looking forward for new Internet tablet and interestingly I am also waiting those WiMax capable phones from Nokia. As these things are going to have more "internet functionality" built in, instead of operator wap/mms hype, which seems to be gone for good.

Great Nokia, I am looking forward for your Internet plans.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

New E90

Yes, I was spending weekend in Brussels and I got new E90 from Nokia factory service, just before that trip. It is very interesting to see, will this work better. General outfit of this new unit is better, keyboard is softer and everything seems to be ok.

And I was also able to download new version of Navicore for this E90, just before that trip. Navicore E90 version has some bugs in spoken navigation indications, since they keep to disappear in navigation.

Now I am waiting for new firmware.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Nokia is in trouble with E90

Yes, my E90 is still in service. And I got really worried today when I noticed Gigantti's advertisement and there was no E90 no more. So, can we draw line from here to there and ask Nokia, how badly you screwed with E90 ?

I really hope that software team is working also with that crappy s60 version of E90, since if hardware flaws are corrected in some point - software is still problem.

Nokia, give us some light in here.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

E90 still in service

My E90 has been away for one week now. It will be interesting to see are they able to fix it at all? I've been reading those forums and people are getting E90's back from service and there is hardly anything done with those. That is strange!

I've been using E61i for long now, it's great but has start to suffer some strange rebooting issue. I think it's because it's loaded with few hundred messages and memory is fading away.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Nuke that Windows

It makes me feel so good when I am able to nuke windows out of the computer. Today I did it already once and more to follow.

It's liberating when you don't have to count licenses and you are able to install as many times (and as often) as you like that (k)ubuntu. It takes 15 minutes now, six questions and proceed. You're free from your 'checking are you running genuine windows' world.

This week I try to find out good power workstations and couple of ML 370's for Linux world, HP is high and Fujitsu siemens is running closely.

Friday, August 31, 2007

E90 in service

I took my company E90 to service this week. Problem number one was microphone with that famous noise and two is of course keyboard markings on display. Guy told me that there is new thinner keyboard availabe as fix.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Internet company - Nokia ?

This is fun, years ago when I did spoke in various forums about the MMS vs. emailing in those new Nokia smartphones - everyone smashed my thoughts. It was clearly visible that robust and mature internet protocols would make much more sense, than some 'I have to wear this suit' coder inventions for MMS.

It took around three years from Nokia, to build up this huge new strategy - where 'internet' is key for everything. Once, I have to admit that when microsoft was made to have same kind of turnover (with windows 95) to internet (from msn-network) - they did it fast.

Now there is new question: was that three years with MMS- and other operator preferred approaches too much ? If Nokia is seeing internet possibilities @2008, I think they are late, way too late. They kicked networks out to siemens and now they don't have to obey operators and if they want, there can really be open, free and usable innovations in field of internet communication.

But still. Are they able to do it? I think they should listen a lot those real engineers, who play with Linux and other standard implementations of future technology. From my point of view, they are still little off track. Licensing DRM stuff from microsoft is one example.

Be big and be a star, but know what is important.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Certificates and S60

Last week I learned a lot. I played with SSL certificates, made some CA functionality and I was able to get S60 devices working without security warnings with my servers. This is going to be fun.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Busines as usual

I've read ton's of postings in various forums, like Nokia support discussions and (in Finnish) where peoples are becoming really frustrated regarding Nokia's ignorance of E90 problems.

Especially I am amazed the Nokia policy about Nokia support discussions, where users can guess between each others what might be the reason behind every problem they see. I think this kind of 'official support' powered by ordinary users is worthless. Strongly moderated support forum backed up with Nokia's official response would be the thing - not this.

My summary of E90 problems are still valid:
  • Hardware issues regarding the keyboard markings on inner display. Nothing new in there, test market in Finland has proved the case.
  • Curren E90's software (S60) is far from usable in communicator form.
  • Hardware could support Maemo platform and thereafter you don't have to promote 'port your application to S60' (which is fading anyway) to developers.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Nokia: Fastest product with Open source

I enjoyed a lot of this good article in linux devices website, how Nokia turned community and open source stuff into great product line.

Wikipedia page of N800

Thursday, August 9, 2007

It's spreading: E90 disappointments

Today I witnessed side heard phone conversation between two of my colleagues, they were discussing about getting rid of their brand new E90's. Both of those has been previously 9300i users like me and their disappointment was real and very describing for current E90 situation.

I really wish luck for Enterprise sector in Nokia, since I think they could stand some negative rain, but this is really turning into storm.

Bye Bye E90

After my vacation with E90, I moved all my business communication to trustworthy E61i and *it felt good*.

Currenly I think that E90 is hardware monster, laptop like wanabe with insufficient 'candybar' operating system topped with hardware design problems. This makes me move forward (or backward).

I also bought my first personal GSM phone yesterday. Main reason for this was the fact that I want to divert my personal contacts into always available phone and carry business with me, only when needed. This Nokia 6120c is small and capable, I think perfect for the situation.

So currently E61i for business and 6120c for personal use.

Monday, August 6, 2007

E90 versions

After a week in Spain, I've returned just to found out that colleague of mine has acquired new E90 (mocha). I was urgent to see differences between his and mine E90 (which was bought from very first red batch).

1. There seems to be version difference (*#0000#).
Older is 'E90 02' (red in picture) and newer is 'E90 209':

2. Bottom half is this designed differently:

3. But still, there are markings on the screen with this modified design:

And of course I tried to take engineering approach for difference, but as measured there is no difference in thickness between these two device:

In summary I would love to hear official facts behind version differences, since it's quite obvious that these bottom modifications are not going to ease that 'marking of screen' issue. I am in strong belief that every basic model is just a tryout at Nokia and i-models are the ones which brings your mobile experience to level you wished.

I think there is no way to get information from Nokia regarding this issue?

EDIT: I read from forum that nokia has told somebody that there is way to fix this by exchanging hinges?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Plans for secure emailing

Since next week is going to be last week of my vacation, I will spend it abroad with my family. But as usual, I have some serious business communication needs on next week and I have to be able to use GPG for encrypted email.

So how Nokia is supporting me with these E-series devices (E70 & E90), which I do have on there?

No way, it's not going to happen with Nokia only. I have to call linux to help me out there. I managed to setup one computer to be reachable over internet by SSH and installed there mutt with gpg support. So basicly I will be able to use N800 with SSH connection to access that email and E90 is spare for that.

Of course, if this would be normal business trip of mine, I would bring my trustworthy CF-18 with kubuntu 7.04 and inbuild EDGE capability for such communication needs.

This CF-18 is really robust at the moment, since I do have 16 GB Flash HD in there and it's very immune to drops and shocks it faces. I think this Flash HD thing is going to change a lot in future.

And yes, I had to do this all by myself, since Panasonic is not supporting Linux or other professional operating systems.

N800 with bt keyboard

Here is picture of N800 and Nokia bluetooth keyboard. It's nice combination and really works. Only thing needed would be small bt mouse, since touching screen with key tends to move whole N800 away.

But still, X-term and SSH sessions are joy with that keyboard. Only problem I noticed was the new Mozilla based browser for N800: there seems to be some trouble when filling forms inside that browser with keyboard.

But if you are not going to ride with wave and stick in with default (really nicely working) browser, you should be on safe side.

Picture of N800 and folded away bluetooth keyboard:

Watertight for GSM

I bought today pouch for phone, because we are heading to small trip and I think there is some water around.

Price was 16 € and it can barely hold my E70. I think I am going to have E70 as my primary and E90 packed better for 'just in case' use.

Switching phones

I've spend last few weeks, trying to decide which phone I was going to have for my primary business use. I have this possibility to choose mainly because my current employee, where I am responsible in various mobility related issues. Phones which have been under process are Nokias E61i, E90, 9300i and E70. Several others are also available, but mainly those can meet my demands.

E61i is great, kind of favorite for me. But E90 keeps trying, even I have smashed it before very heavily. Propably I am doomed to be switcher for rest of my life. Currently I try to make E90 work for me, it's not easy but I'll try. E90 has been critized in Finnish forums for it's hardware related issues, like markings in inner screen from keyboard. Never seen such flaming before. I have those markings also, so I keep you updated.

Kernel development

I enjoyed whole summer vacation with my CF-18 toughbook, with patched kernel (2.6.21) which made touchpad working once again (default kubuntu 7.04 kernel has feature in psmouse driver, which makes touchpad unusable). Patching and testing for psmouse developers, gave me an working 2.6.21 kernel.

I was excited when Linus released official 2.6.22 version of kernel, which was supposed to include those fixes for CF-18. First things after I got back to work was reinstall fresh kubuntu 7.04 (for 16 GB flash hard drive) and compile this brand new kernel. Everything else went smoothly, but touching touchscreen gave kernel panic. I was lost.

But here comes amazing part: I emailed to main developer my confirmation of current state of psmouse driver at 8.25 on that morning and I had fixing patch in my inbox at 8.45! Catch that microsoft! Now with official 2.6.22 + one patch everything works smoothly.

N800 and 16 GB

Last week I acquired two 8 GB SDHC cards for Nokia N800. It's amazing to see how Nokia is providing innovation to different platforms.

Now my N800 has 16 GB capacity for music, videos and other content. It's eye opener for my E90, which could only handle 2 GB card.

I am back

It was mental accident few weeks ago, when I deleted this blog. Since I couldn't preserve contents - I think it's safe to do it all over again. It also turned out that I have still much more to say, regarding mobility, linux and other issues around technology.